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The most challenging breed?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 4:57am PST 
Ah, stubborn, I thrive on that! Bird dawg stubborn, as you find in a Pointer, that is. I had a Pointer bitch like that as a child to put me through a wringer.

I like biddable, high drive, good nerved dogs. That rules out certain breeds, directs me to certain groups, naturally. And then there are individuals within those groups. Give me the puppy that springs out at you, that attacks the opening umbrella, that does not fear the balloon, that startles briefly then recovers boldly. I was once given the chance to pick my puppy -- got all that and more, and he was quite the character. I want an assertive dog, full of himself.

Things I do not like:

any propensity toward DA, SA, SSA, HA. No way, no how. Not with a houseful of dogs. Already dealing with 2 of those. Plus a timid guy, who is getting more confident, day by day.

low drive: just bores me

bad nerves: again, not something I like to work with

non-biddable, non-eager to please. I want a dog who wants to please me, follow my directions, is handler-bonded naturally.

Beyond those I want a dog-social, human-social dog, not a dog who only like me.


So I naturally gravitate to the more biddable groups: gun dogs and herders, who have worked with man for many years. I prefer the less sharp herders. My ACD has plenty of drive, but she is sharp and has a propensity to cause trouble with other dogs. And then there are the working dogs, too, but I prefer the more social of these. I like hounds, but I'd let them do what hounds are meant to do, and I couldn't live in an all hound household. It's not that I find them challenging. I even find Chis fine to teach. But my friend's teacup Yorkie -- I'm an abject failure with that dog. My ultimate challenge.shock
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Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 6:33am PST 
Jewel's unwilling to please. Makes me INSAAAAAAAAAANE. She could have her CD, she can do most of the CDX stuff too...but will she do it in the ring? NO! NO! NO!
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Zephyr

1213425
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 7:35am PST 
As far as the ability to outsmart the handler in amusing ways? Airedales and Giant Schnauzers bar none. Their sense of humor is pretty much unparalleled. Frustrating if you can't see the way in which it's usually meant. Playful disobedience if you will.

I'm used to being stalked around my house by beady little herder eyes so the staring doesn't bother me.
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 8:09am PST 
Maybe a dog with a sense of humor. Like Savannah. Perfectly smart and biddable, but with a clownish streak. I never know when she is going to decide it is more fun to zig, instead of zag...

And she laughs when she does it.
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Sonja

It's all about- me.
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 10:36am PST 
Challenging but more annoying to me is any dog with OCD issues. Obsessive Compulsive Disordered (OCD) is very irritating to me. Those dogs make great competitors under the right human direction...its just not me.

Throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball...
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 12:41pm PST 
"As far as the ability to outsmart the handler in amusing ways? Airedales and Giant Schnauzers bar none. Their sense of humor is pretty much unparalleled. Frustrating if you can't see the way in which it's usually meant. Playful disobedience if you will."

That's very well said and accurate. I think some of the reason why some pro trainers struggle terribly with them. I find allowing it from time to time keeps things fresh and them enthused....although it's a matter of appropriateness and timing, as they will really run with the proverbial ball if you get those things wrong. It's why you need to have a sense of humor yourself and be a little lighthearted to get along with either breed, Giants particularly. Who ninety nine times out of one hundred are only joking around. Personally, I don't think anyone who doesn't find humor in naughty should get on a Giant. If master con men on same level humor and impress you....it's a good match wink

I had an "aha" moment watching Doug Suess work a grizzly. He was asking for a behavior, food was on offer. The bear (his famous Bart) refused...did not want to do it...but after a time in its stead threw another behavior in some sort of compromise. Doug Suess laughed, appreciated the gesture, and gave him some fish laugh out loud That sort of attitude I find very helpful. Mine tend to be hooligans but when it's high precision time never fail me. They know the difference, and will throw me that bone when I really need it. That's really all I ask. They are too mischief and mayhem to really deny the right.
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Member Since
05/21/2010
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 4:00pm PST 
lol, that grizzly reminded me of Twister. I was trying to teach him to 'back up', but he didn't quite get that he was supposed to walk backwards-though he did try jumping backwards-so he gave up, fell to the ground and did 'roll over;...that was funny so he got his treat. laugh out loud Though after that he started the backwards jumping and rolling over every time I tried to get him to 'back up'. -.-

Twist has his issues; but at the end of the day I much prefer him and his exuberance to my sister's dog, who while is awesome at heeling, is much too low-drive for me.way to go

~Twist

ETA: We're pretty sure Twist is a BC mix and my sister's dog is an Italian Greyhound/Pek/misc mix.

Edited by author Wed Dec 5, '12 4:02pm PST

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Zack

formerly The- Very Hungry- Puppy-pillar
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 4:59pm PST 
Playful disobedience? Yes, we have plenty of that here.

Zack likes making fools out of people when he gets the chance. At home, he always begs for table scraps, but elsewhere he'll go into the next room when people sit down to eat. And some days he goes into "miss manners" mode and will only follow very detailed commands given in complete sentences with please and thank you. "Sit" gets no response, but if you say "would you please go over there and sit down," he'll do it every time. He insists "down" means nothing, but ask "Please lie down in your bed and go to sleep," and he'll do exactly that. And if you forget to say "thank you," sometimes he goes right back to naughty mode.

He's also a big tease in the yard. He will run away from you as long as you are chasing him, and he won't come closer than 20-30 feet, no matter how many times you call. But if you go in the house without him, he'll stand by the door and whine until you let him in.

Cody has decided that he is too cool for that "trick" business. He knows "sit" and he comes when you call. But that is it. He just plain refuses to learn anything else. Bianca can do a ton of tricks - Cody will watch her and then give you his "If I make her do that twice, can I have a treat too?" look. Cody also appreciates a good challenge - you know those cheap plastic patio chairs? Cody insisted that his 80-lb. self could share one with me - and he was right.

Is it a challenge? Yes. But for me, challenging = fun.

ETA: I have no clue what breeds either dog is. I was told that 43-lb. Zack is a boxer/GSD mix and Cody is a boxer/pit mix. But I don't really see it.

Edited by author Wed Dec 5, '12 5:02pm PST

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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 1:34am PST 
A giant shnauzer would definitely be a challenge for me..I think I would be entirely out of my depth there. And they are so, well, giant. I couldn't manhandle that like I tuck my kelpie under my arm when he's being a sh*t.

I've met Cavaliers and other nutty toys that have driven me to the point of distraction, too..All that look at me, pick me up, me me me stuff gets old fast. laugh out loud Argh!

I like an arrogant soul, drivy outside, chilled indoors, aloof to others, loyal to me. I like the Nordic group a lot, even though some are attention solicitors out and about. I like the herding group the best. I also don't mind these 'beady lil eyes', lol.

I don't think I'd ever touch a malinois or dutchie, though!
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 7:35am PST 
I totally agree about Airedales (Giants I don't have much experience with) giving some pro trainers and handlers a tough time, challenging as a breed in general. They were bred to work independently of their handler, it is correct for the breed for them to make some decisions on their own. Also, that they have a sense of humor and mischief. All that boils down to a dog that doesn't respond well to heavy handedness in either training or handling. The largest terrier (with the largest bite set I might add) a well-bred Dale from hunting lines will stand ground in front of a charging badger or bear, they have tremendous heart. They'll never be flashy OB candidates, but they are such solid dogs even though they're so drivey when handled with the right touch. That's the rub, they can be quite sharp. If I take myself too seriously with them, I'm done for. I play a lot and approach things sideways, return back to something with a slightly different approach and it's like it was their idea to do it that way all along. Too many reps and they fade fast, so switching up at the individual dog's pace is critical. Wishy washy they can't stand, either. They're the 'supervisors' and they've got an opinion on everything you do.

I used to work with a group of four male adolescents and I miss it, they're older now and two have moved on working for Ch at their handlers in Canada. Two are still with the breeder so I can still see and work with them. One of them takes it as a personal challenge to keep me there as long as possible. He's hidden my keys, cell phone until I stopped even taking anything in with me. It's so much fun for him to find things, why wouldn't I love it too? Yes, these are dogs who will actually decide when and how to reward you for good behavior. wink I jokingly used them in a tracking game one day and it was utter joy for that pup. It became like our in joke and his speed really shot up. So, I've used that but quickly substituted other 'personal' items that he gets to find and hold as a reward. For some reason pocket sized dog toys are more critical to me than keys. Once you let them blow off a bit of steam, they are hard workers and will get serious quickly. Getting confrontational with them yields little, battles are rewarding in and of themselves, and they have very long memories. Mistakes aren't taken lightly by them either, and they have a strong sense of fairness. I've seen unfair changes and expectations by a handler get that person into trouble pretty quickly. They remain unforgiven and not to be trusted five years later, for good reason.

As far as what's challenging for me to work with: I don't do well with very low drive dogs, and I've only seriously worked with large to giant breeds so I'm not as confident handling the small breeds.
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